Series: Diamonds In The Rough #2
Publication Date: 12/26/17
I loved this book. It is one of my favorite books (and series) for 2017! The writing is excellent – as always – the story is well plotted and the characters are well developed. We met most of the characters in the first book, A Most Unlikely Duke. While you get some of the family background from this book, it is well covered in the first book. So, I’ll give you a little detail here. The definitely unlikely duke, Raphe Matthews, was born into the gentry – his mother was the daughter of a viscount — but through an awful set of circumstances, he, at the age of 8 ends up living in St. Giles with his three younger sisters in his care. For fifteen years he manages to care for all of them by working on the docks and prizefighting. Sadly, he does lose one sister, and that eats at him. Can you imagine any 8-year old today managing to do what this child did? Never happen – but they seemed to mature earlier back then.
After a month or so of marriage, Raphe is taking his bride on a wedding trip. That leaves his sisters with an eccentric aunt, Lady Everley, as a chaperone. Raphe also asks his best friend, Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry to help steer his two younger sisters through the beginning of the season. While he is hesitant, Thomas agrees. Little does poor Thomas know what he is getting himself into.
Amelia has lived almost her entire life in St. Giles. She’s learned to be resourceful, smart and determined because she had the care of her younger sisters. She cleaned, scavenged for food, prepared meals and otherwise did all the things that needed to be done to see to her family’s welfare. She has had a really hard time adjusting to her new life in Mayfair since her older brother inherited a Dukedom a couple of months ago. She’s been diligent about her dancing, deportment and other lessons, but she just doesn’t feel as if she belongs. She’s at a loss and needs something to do with herself – and she knows what that is and what she needs to do. Hang on to your hats – you are in for a ride! Almost as soon as her brother is gone she begins to put her plan into motion – much to her own peril as well as Thomas’s. She just needs to manage to avoid Thomas as much as she can – because she is so very, very attracted to him.
Thomas has changed over the last five years. The once happy and cheerful man has become a recluse who seldom smiles and cuts himself off from society. He is a very loving man and has taken on many responsibilities that he feels keeps him from being able to marry himself – not to mention his big secret. However, he finds himself more and more drawn to Amelia’s sunny and determined personality. He fights that attraction with everything that is in him – but he has no success. As they are thrown together more and more his attraction grows.
I love how accepting Thomas is of Amelia’s project and how he tries to help her. I also love the other suitor’s Amelia has. They genuinely care for her and are lovely and understanding when she doesn’t return their regard. They even pitch in and help with her project as well.
It is a true delight to watch Amelia and Thomas dance around their love for each other. You begin to wonder if Thomas will finally come to his senses, but a firm sock in the face can do wonders for making one see the light. Of course, you also have a bad guy in the story who, I’ll almost bet, will be back in the next book. Can’t wait to see that one.
“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”